Gold Five Dollars, 1912-1914, Circulation Issue.
OBVERSE: Portrait of King George V, designed by Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal, an Australian sculptor whose work is initialed "B. M." Some catalogues capitalize the "K" in Mackennal's patronymic Scottish last name, highly insulting.
REVERSE: Canadian coat of arms superimposed over two maple boughs, designed by W. H. J. Blakemore.
Canada's coat of arms has evolved over the years. This design uses an old style coat of arms, quartered into the four original provinces at the time of Canada's independence on July 1, 1867: Ontario (upper left, cross/maple), Quebec (upper right, lilies/lion/maple), Nova Scotia (lower left, thistles/salmon/thistle), and New Brunswick (lower right, lion/ship).
Gold coinage for domestic Canadian use and bearing Canadian imagery was first approved by legislation in 1908, but the design for $5 and $10 gold pieces was not approved until 1911, and the first coins were minted in 1912. The gold, mined in Canada, came from Yukon and Ontario gold mines.
The mintages of all three dates are quite small, with 1914 being the scarcest.
In 1914, Canada suspended its Gold Standard with the outbreak of World War I. Coinage ceased and never resumed. Circulating gold coins were gathered up by the Government of Canada, and uncirculated coins retained, to assist the war effort. On November 28, 2012, the Royal Canadian Mint offered the better examples for sale to the public and melted down the worn coins. In all, 5,761 $5 gold pieces were sold to the public. Both NGC and PCGS are placing their graded examples in special identifying holders ("Bank of Canada Hoard"). The examples in my collection are all from the original release in 1912-14 and not from the newly-released hoard.
Weight 8.3592 g. Diameter 21.6 mm.
Purity 900 fine.
Gold content 0.24187 ounce.
The coin is identical in weight, size, purity, and gold content to contemporary US $5 gold pieces.Read more...